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R Scott

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since Apr 13, 2012
Kansas Zone 6a
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Recent posts by R Scott

We had a neighbor back in the city that made a good income buying things at local garage sales and goodwill, etc. And selling them on eBay.  She was good at knowing what things sold for online and was VERY careful to know what shipping would be.
+1 for air plus constantly moving fresh food to the microbes instead of them having to crawl to the food.
For cheap efficient heat, an rmh is hard to beat. Really, it is one of the most efficient heaters you can have and can be made for FREE, at least no money out of pocket but plenty of time. It does take a little skill to run it right, but any wood stove does.

Hydronic is really awesome, but there is a minimum level of complexity and cost that make it uncommon.  And most systems end up way more complicated than they needed to be.  I have seen complete off grid solar heating using a large water heat reserve, but nearly a quarter of the house cost went to the heating system.

I am thinking about it for my next house for the cooling, I have abundant spring water that is 60 degrees year round.  But that has condensation risks you have to be careful about or you turn your floor into a petri dish.
6 days ago
There are geo textile products that will hold dirt and sod at close to those angles.  Not cheap and would need serious structure behind them, as they shine they have solid earth to hold them in place.  But I have seen them used on bermed and underground houses. Then planted with low ground cover.

Blown cellulose insulation is CHEAP, green and easy DIY if you build with it in mind.  Build with enough attic space to get the insulation deep enough at the edges.  You need large overhangs to protect the cob so that shouldn't be a problem.

1 week ago
cob
My experience on the farm, you need stuff for splinters, burns, cuts and scrapes, and hopefully never the OHSH!T trauma stuff (quick clot and turniquet). I always carry tweezer, and quick clot and turniquet is in the chainsaw box.

Vet wrap is insanely useful and way cheaper than the human medical version. And lots of gauze.  It is insane the amount of gauze you go through for treating a burn.

Find good burn and wound salves. Several natural versions available.
1 week ago
There used to be a furnace sold around here that burned both wood and propane.  You loaded a whole, unsplit log and it used propane to gasify the log and maintain a secondary burn.  They were really efficient for their day, IF you could get dry wood. Very hard to get wood to dry whole here. And too heavy to load into the furnace if you found it.  You could probably do the same thing as a batch rocket.

Or a biochar retort! I would much rather shovel biochar out of a stove than ash.  Problem with that is figuring out how to get the char out while it's still hot and not catch on fire. I DON'T want to let the stove get stone cold just to empty the char or ash, can't do that below a certain temperature.  
2 weeks ago
THANK YOU for all the great ideas!

My wife and I are both in love with the idea of an earthship, the big one with the HUGE greenhouse.  But we are not in love with packing tires and our new land is southeast temperate, rugged, steep forest with a thousand springs.  Maybe not the right solution, but this has helped us think about what exactly we like (living in a greenhouse) and maybe some more location appropriate techniques.
1 month ago
I have watched permaculture videos with buildings that are what many would call a mud hut or shanty shack, and others with GRAND timber frame pavilions and cottages.

How do you decide what is the right size and permanence?  I know I could rationalize a 10,000 foot building with concrete floors because I will have a shop and teach classes and store materials for my future permaculture construction company and and and... But how do you HONESTLY assess those things? When is it better to build with steel or concrete or when is it better to build something that will compost itself back to the earth in a few years or something in between?
1 month ago
I don't have first hand experience, either, but lots of research on earthship and passive solar. I plan to start building next year.

The separate spaces make it MUCH easier to control the temp in the living space, especially to keep it cool.  The way the separate spaces act, the greenhouse portion will pull air through the house, enhancing the stack effect airflow.
1 month ago
I thought you were afraid of making a zillion new cuttings.  Visions of Mickey mouse as the sorcerers apprentice comes to mind, every shred becoming a new elderberry
1 month ago